Hawaii golfers keen for new experiences
Thailand a new focus for Hawaii golfers
BANGKOK, Thailand - It may seem like taking coals to Newcastle or selling ice cream to the Eskimos, but people from Hawaii are coming to Thailand to play golf. Just like their counterparts in Scotland, Ireland, the US mainland, and the world's other premier golf locations, golfers from Hawaii are keen to travel to new and different golfing experiences. Where better than Thailand, Asia's premier golf destination?
A delegation headed by the chairman of the Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT), Khun Vichai Srikwan, and Governor Khun Suraphon Svetasreni, has returned from a six-day visit to Hawaii with high expectations of many more golfers from Hawaii visiting the kingdom.
"Hawaii [golfers] have previously mostly gone to the US mainland to play golf away from home, but Thailand is a big attraction," said Mark Siegel, president of Golf in a Kingdom - The Thailand Golf Experience (www.golfinakingdom.com), a cooperative marketing program comprising golf courses, hotels, and resorts in Thailand's four major golf destinations - Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai.
The 10-person delegation's visit to Hawaii was organized by businessman and Oahu Country Club member, Randy Ho. The club hosted two tournaments for the visitors and local players, while a presentation night for 130 travel agents and tour operators provided an insight into the delights of playing golf in Thailand.
Mark Siegel said it was the most productive marketing trip he had experienced. "We were able to raise the knowledge and awareness of Hawaii golfers about playing in Thailand," he said, "The quality of the courses, food, entertainment, and value for money make Thailand unique. A seven-nights' package with four rounds of golf is about half the price of most other golf destinations."
"It was a very successful trip," said TAT's America's region director, Khun Santi Chudintra, "As a peer marketing exercise, it was exactly the right approach and enabled us to talk directly with our target market. As an alternative to the US mainland, Thailand has much to offer - 260 courses and many other attractions."
Member courses of Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience are Banyan and Black Mountain at Hua Hin, Thai Country Club and Muang Kaew in Bangkok, the Old Course and Plantation Course at Siam Country Club near Pattaya, and Chiang Mai Highlands in northern Thailand.